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DELIVERING CHANGE - our recent successes

Anti-Slavery International's work has produced real change. Throughout the last century, the organisation was involved in many successful campaigns, such as those to stop the abuse of rubber workers in the Belgian Congo and the use of child slaves - Mui Tsai - in Hong Kong. Read about our historical successes.

In the 21st century we continue to be closely involved in achieving progress in the fight against slavery:

  • 2015: We provided ‘expert report’ resulting in Irish High Court judge ruling that the administrative procedure to identify trafficked victims in Ireland was inadequate and that Ireland failed to transpose the EU Trafficking Directive.
  • 2014: We obtained a commitment from the government of Senegal to reform the country's “daara” schools system to end forced child begging.
  • Our Cotton Crimes campaign helped convince H&M to move to take concrete steps to limit the risk of Uzbek cotton entering the company's supply chain.
  • 2011: Our Home Alone campaign played a big part in persuading the International Labour Organisation to adopt a Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers in June 2011, which secures the rights of millions of domestic workers across the globe. Over ten countries already ratified the Convention.
  • 2011: We successfully campaigned to force the UK government to sign up to a new EU anti-trafficking law that will help better protect the victims and secure justice for people who have been trafficked.
  • 2010: Following the campaign by Anti-Slavery International and Liberty in June, the UK Parliament introduced a criminal offence of forced labour in the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.
  • 2011: In December, our Cotton Crimes campaign convinced MEPs to overwhelmingly reject a proposal to extend a trade deal with Uzbekistan because of the ongoing use of forced child labour in the country's cotton industry.
  • 2008: The United Nations’ decision to create a new Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery. They will report directly to the UN Human Rights Council on measures that Governments need to take to tackle slavery practices in their respective countries.  This is the first new UN mechanism on slavery in over 30 years.
  • 2008: We supported a former slave, Hadijatou Mani in obtaining the verdict of international ECOWAS court that found the state of Niger guilty of failing to protect her from slavery . This was a major victory in the fight against slavery in West Africa. The ruling sets a legal precedent with respect to the obligations of states to protect its citizens from slavery. The ECOWAS Court decisions are binding, and the human rights obligations the Court interprets are applicable to all member states.

  • Nepal (2002), Niger (2003), Brazil (2003) and Mauritania (2007) are some of the countries which have introduced or amended laws so that slavery practices are prohibited and properly punished. These reforms have led to the release of more than 100,000 people from slavery.

  • 2005: The United Arab Emirates recognised that some 3,000 children had been trafficked to the UAE to be used as camel jockeys and passed a law banning anyone under 18 from taking part in camel racing. The Government also provided UNICEF with US$2.7 million to assist these children to return to their homes. Qatar and Kuwait also passed laws prohibiting children under 18 from being camel jockeys.

  • The UK has taken various measures to raise awareness of slavery issues and counter trafficking in people, including: introducing laws against trafficking for sexual and labour exploitation and funding support services for those affected (2004); the creation of a national slavery memorial day in the UK (from 23 August 2008); making it obligatory to teach the Transatlantic Slave Trade in the UK National Curriculum (from September 2008); and committing to ratify the Council of Europe Convention against trafficking (by the end of 2008).

  • 2008: The approval of the Council of Europe Convention against trafficking in 2005 which is the first international standard to guarantee trafficked people minimum standards of protection and support. This Convention came into force in February 2008 and has been signed and ratified by over 40 countries.

  • 2008: The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, in the united States of America, achieved a major victory in its Campaign for Fair Food after fast-food giant Burger King agreed to work with them to improve the wages and working conditions of those who pick its tomatoes.


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Shamshad at school, education, breaking the cycle of discrimination and social exclusionA pupil at a community school in NIger
©Anti-Slavery International

Bonded labourers in South East Asia thanks to our work managed to stand up and claim their own rights.
Read Mathura and Dolamani Bagh's story

Angel, former child domestic worker Angel, former child domestic worker from Taznania came for support to Anti-Slavery's partners, then went on to set up her own organisation supporting fellow child domestic workers.
Read her story  

Campaigning inthe UK Our campaigns make real difference in the law and policies. Pictured is delivering the petition to demand signing up by the UK Government to the EU trafficking directive.

Workers from Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Fair Food activists from across the country gather in downtown Maimi to take part in a 9-Mile march on Burger King headquarters
©Jacques-Jean Tiziou/